Search

Founder of St Francis Hospice dies at age 94

PUBLISHED: 14:00 01 May 2013

Joan Matthew

Joan Matthew

Archant

Tributes have been paid to one of the founders of St Francis Hospice following her death at the age of 94.

Joan Matthews died at her beloved hospice in Havering-atte-Bower on Monday last week.

She had been unwell in Southend Hospital since February and was transferred to Saint Francis Hospice’s inpatient unit so that she could end her life in the place she had done so much to nurture.

Joan first saw the need for better provision of care for those with a terminal illness through her work at Havering Community Health Council in the 1970s.

Having identified the need for a hospice in the area she was one of the foremost enthusiasts in raising public awareness of this need. She was also instrumental in establishing the fundraising groups across Havering and surrounding areas to generate cash needed for its development.

Joan recalled a meeting in 1977: “Peter Smith and I had a meeting at Dr Dorothy Rule’s flat in Hornchurch to talk about registering as a charity so that we could start fundraising.

“When we finished the meeting we dipped into our purses and each put a £5 note on the table. It was significant because those were the first actual funds collected.”

A total of £350,000 was raised for building work to begin in 1982.

Over the years Joan worked tirelessly to see Saint Francis Hospice grow into one of the largest hospices in the UK.

Today every year more than 3,000 people from the boroughs of Havering, Barking and Dagenham, Redbridge and Brentwood receive care and support from the hospice.

Voluntary services manager Gill Wendelken, who has worked at the hospice since 1984, remembers what an inspirational person Joan was.

“She captivated everyone she spoke to about the hospice, whether it was to a group or an individual, because of her determination to share the value of palliative care with us all,” Gill said.

0 comments

Latest Romford News Stories

A man appeared in court on Monday charged with grievous bodily harm (GBH) with intent.

11:48

A father enjoyed a pleasant surprise when he took his family on a day out to Woburn Safari Park and was given the VIP treatment for becoming the park’s 20 millionth visitor.

Havering’s A&E department has been given £1million from the Department of Health (DoH), to continue a pioneering project to cut waiting times.

Yesterday, 17:32

A nurse who had never before competed in a race let alone a marathon has raised more than £2,100 for Richard House Children’s Hospice.

Yesterday, 12:50

In an attempt to save lives and deter drivers from breaking speed limits, new sentencing guidelines came into effect yesterday.

Yesterday, 12:00

With obesity in adults and children continually rising, concerns abound not only as to the content of the food we are eating, and how active we are, but also to the medical conditions which can come on as a result.

Yesterday, 11:21

As the dust settles on the London Marathon and participants tend to their aches and pains now is the time to acknowledge the charitable efforts of Havering’s many runners.

Yesterday, 10:16

Major refurbishment works costing more than £1.5million have begun at a leisure centre to improve its facilities.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

News from your area

Competitions

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now